BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett. Sonnets from the Portuguese. London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1911.
Small 8vo. Full red calf; raised bands to spine, spine and upper board lettered in gilt; boards tooled in blind to spine hinges; dentelles ruled in gilt; blue endpapers; pp. viii, 64; illustrated engravings tipped in throughout; slight rubbing to extremities, minor sunning to spine; offsetting from dentelles to endpapers, with a little spotting concentrated here; a very good copy.
One of Browning's most famous works. Initially reluctant to publish them because she thought they might be too personal, she was persuaded at the advice of her husband, who claimed that 'they were the best sequence of English-language sonnets since Shakespeare'. To offer the couple some privacy, she decided to publish them as if they were translations of foreign sonnets, initially planning to title the collection 'Sonnets translated from the Bosnian', before her husband once again proposed that she claim their source was Portuguese, most likely because of his nickname for her: 'my little Portuguese'.